This shallow fallacy ignores a reality that too few have recognized: When it comes to the issues that matter most to the religious right, we already have President Pence. The danger is now we have President Pence plus Trump’s criminality, obstruction, and aspiring authoritarianism on top of the extraordinary costs and shame of subsidizing Trump’s businesses and family.
Mike Pence’s domination of our domestic policies became even more obvious last week when the administration escalated its assault on science. The Department of Health and Human Services imposed new restrictions on the use of fetal tissue from abortions for research — research that has led to vaccines for rubella and rabies and that scientists say is still needed to develop other life-saving treatments.
HHS also canceled a contract to find new treatments for HIV. This makes sense since ideological decisions that lead to an increase in HIV risks are Pence’s trademark move. As governor of Indiana, his opposition to Planned Parenthood and needle exchanges helped lead to the worst HIV outbreak in the state’s history. This malign neglect echoes the shadow president’s well-documented antipathy to LGBTQ rights and existence.